North Korea tests missile launchers

Source:AFP Published: 2019/5/5 21:18:40

North Korea's state media said Sunday that leader Kim Jong-un had overseen a rocket and tactical guided weapons test, after the drill Saturday raised concerns Pyongyang was escalating provocations with US nuclear negotiations deadlocked.

North Korea last carried out a missile test in November 2017, before a rapid diplomatic rapprochement saw tensions ease on the peninsula and a ­series of summits.

A return to missile launches would be likely to infuriate US President Donald Trump, but the North's official KCNA news agency shied away from the term in its report, saying Kim had ordered a "strike drill" involving "long-range multiple rocket launchers" - which are not targeted by UN sanctions resolutions - and unspecified "tactical guided weapons."

Seoul's defense ministry said Sunday an analysis of the launch indicated Pyongyang had tested "240-mm and 300-mm multiple rocket launchers and a new type of tactical guided weapons with a range of around 70 to 240 kilometers."

The US and North Korea have been at loggerheads since the collapse of a Trump-Kim summit in February, when the two sides clashed over sanctions and the extent of Pyongyang's concessions on its atomic arsenal.

But despite the latest saber rattling from Pyongyang, Trump insisted that a breakthrough was possible.

"Kim Jong-un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it," Trump tweeted.


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